POST-PEDAGOGICAL ACADEMIC DESIGN
Van den Akker et Kuiper (2008) list a number of studies on existing models and among them Gustafson & Branch (2002) who account for 15 models in 3 categories: 4 models for the classroom, 5 computer modules and 6 comprehensive distant | computer education models (applicable to courses and eventually to diploma granting programs). The survey conducted by Gustafson & Branch in 2002 on teaching models is an update (4Ed) of earlier work (early 80s). At that time, open (distant) education was not very developed or assertive as is the case today with MOOCS. Only 10 years ago and according to Gustafson & Branch educational design had to be selected according to some applicable context whereby
- teaching occurs in a classroom—classroom-oriented,
- the course would be delivered by other than the designer—product-oriented, or
- the training is complex and directed toward problem solving or in pursuit of organisational objectives—systems-oriented.
Among the approaches examined by the authors, the Barson model was one of the very few that was assessed in a number of establishments. Further, the expression 'instructional development (ID)' used by Barson meant the systematic process by which teaching was to be improved and originated from Michigan State University (MSU) between 1961 and 1965 during the early audiovisual revolution.The authors also mention computer-based instruction which is naturally associated with distant learning and requires "highly prescriptive ID models" or products (Gustafson & Branch 2002:31). In the 2002 version of the inventory, 5 models examine the distant computer approach based on an institutional development process:
- assess the product (need product?)
- the product will be generated and not selected or adapted from some existing material (one of the basic design requirements or condition)
- testing and reviews of the product, and
- the product is designed for use by the learners under the supervision of tutors and not professors (p.30).
The 5 models for distant learning are as follows (according to Gustafson & Branch 2002, in order of appearance: Bergman & Moore 1990, de Hoog, de Jong & de Vries 1994, Bates 1995, Nieveen 1997, Seels & Glasgow 1998).
> Bergman & Moore. The Bergman & Moore model deals with the management of interactive teaching projects (video and multimedia). The approach is managed using checklist controls and students are nowhere mentioned. The models provides for activities such as "analysis, design, develop, produce, author, and validate" (p.32).
> de Hoog, de Jong et de Vries. This model was conceived to prepare simulations or expert systems and it includes 5 independent anchors concurrently deployed within the institutional production context: a learner model, a computer/software design model, an operational model, an instructional model and and an interface.
> Bates. The model designed by Bates rests on 4 educational and institutional steps or phases: (i) the course outline, (ii) selecting the media, (iii) preparing and producing the materials and (iv) course delivery. The process is in the hands of 3 actors: (i) the project manager, with the support of (ii) content experts and (iii) instructional designers. With respect to the course outline, that is the initial phase of the process, 4 tasks or responsibilities are institutional control: (i) identifying the target group, (ii) determining the place of the course within the program or curriculum, (iii) authorising and validating course contents and (iv) authorising and validating the chosen pedagogical approach ("teaching approach agreed"). The Bates model mentions learners at the outset of the process (target group) and at the end for the assessment of learning.
> Nieveen. The Nieveen model is called ‘Cascade’ and proceeds from a doctoral thesis. It is based on 4 cycles: specifications, an outline of the instructional package, ajustment of detailed instructional material and their assembly. All phases are analysed and assessed for quality with regard to learners' formative evaluation with testing on small groups and field testing on a larger group.
> Seels & Glasgow. The Seels & Glasgow model is typically managerial: managing the needs analysis, managing instructional design, managing implementation (this phase includes the preparation of learning material, course delivery, support structures, assessment of student production and recruitment).In general, the above models hadly mention students and learners except as follows: entry behavior expected of typical students—p.48; student knowledge, attitudes and priorities—p.55; level of readiness—p.28; model intended for graduate students—p.49; students number, location—p.49; student needs—p.56; measuring student achievement and the students’ attitudes toward the content and instruction—p.31; how student attention and motivation will be maintained—p.26, all of which are characteristics of the former audiovisual instructional media.
For all intents and purposes the survey conducted by Gustafson & Branch poses one of the most typical questions: « What instructional strategies are most appropriate in terms of objectives and student characteristics? » (Gustafson & Branch 2002:28). Set in the form of ‘strategies’, that very question generously imparts a pedagogical hue to institutional concerns and strategy is clearly substituted to pedagogy and teaching in their traditional forms. Whether the concern is improved teaching, better teaching or simply teaching—didactics, the 'teaching process' cannot be substituted to the learning process in curriculum design (traditional or distant), and learning is explicitely the focus of open | distant education:
... the Didaktik parameter of good teaching is not the degree to which the students master the content as delineated in the curriculum, but rather the question if and how the educative substance could be opened up for the student as intended; more exactly, if and how it became open in their individual meeting with the content in the given teaching process" (Hopmann 2007:117).
The latter question, however, concerning student characteristics is always left to the backrooms—or had not been explored in the 1990s and early 2000s literature; this must be expected to remain for as long as orthodox contextual and situational approaches prevail.
Open or distant learning operates under a surrogate contextual or situational gloss over called 'learning environment'. Yet that concept still does not provide answers to the question concerning the characteristics of students that are neither in class or on the campus. Thus, one cannot measure or assess the immediate impact open | distance education has on 'pedagogy' and on the long term debate concerning (i) 'what is learning', (ii) 'how students learn' and (iii) educational or curriculum design.
Now a MOOC, and all forms of open education, including hybrid programs and distant learning in general are first and foremost institutional means of course delivery; they are institutionally determined, just as the classroom method or the conventional stand & deliver approach. Both (classroom and online) are the result of organisational approaches and decisions. Please refer to JISC Institutional Approaches to Curriculum Design here > http://goo.gl/VMmxt), and see how media technologies are curriculum delivery tools (see JISC Curriculum Delivery through Technology here > http://goo.gl/KSZBA).
How can one manage existing institutional setups for Curriculum Design & Delivery and the academic (discipline) requirements that students and learners are to be faced with? For most part, it is argued that 'educational design' lies in a Student Workplan approach (or student activities in a given academic discipline). Doing so, we may remember or recapture the meaning of learning as a deliberate (metacognitive) activity because that is what is expected from the participants | learners. And where this approach is institutionally adopted, developed and applied, there is no more teaching in the conventional sense, yet there is learning in a post-pedagogical mode.
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GUSTAFSON, K.L. & BRANCH, R.M. 2002. Survey of instructional development models (4e). New York: ERIC, Syracuse University. (http://goo.gl/U9nDU)
HOPMANN, S. 2007. Restrained teaching: the common core of Didaktik. European Educational Research Journal, vol.6, no.7:109-124. (http://goo.gl/V5aG4)
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